Tag Archives: Vera Bradley

Brooks Brothers Home Collection Launches

Hello-Hello, welcome to an almost-weekend, a delight to contemplate despite an overbooked schedule. Already.

We have a look at the Brooks Brothers Home Collection, debuting online today.

You won’t see much of the new line at your local B2, the majority of it is only available online.  New items include bed linens in two motifs; below, the Blue Yarn-Dye group.

The Glen Plaid and Pinstripe pieces are done in a 300 thread count cotton; we like this look.

The white Herringbone bedding is also made with 300-count cotton.

The Pillows may well be our favorite thing, inspired by the retailer’s neckties, they are made of a fine English silk twill.

They come in three sizes, 16″, 18″ and 20″.

In three patterns, the Jockey Stripe (L), Diagonal BB #1 Repp Stripe (M), and the Horizontal Guard Stripe (R), all available in the three colors shown.

A grouping of these will look elegant in many settings, it is good to see the pillows are Made in the USA.

Prices for the pillows run $248 – $288.

Of course, we’re rather partial to our Old School Toss pillows, they are crafted of 100% cotton, better suited to the beating they take bustling environment here at the Prepatorium.

(These don’t require quite the same investment as the silk pillows at Brooks.)

The Terry Bath Collection offers towels in a nice range of colors.

As well as a bathrobe and slippers.

This a big weekend for our friend Queen Bee Swain and rowers, it is Head of the Charles weekend in Boston. This year Brooks Brothers is one of the premier sponsors of the Regatta.

Good luck to the Bee!


Our other tidbits today are brief, the first involving J. Crew. Yesterday the company’s stock was absolutely slammed following an analyst’s downgrade. From a Business Week story:

“The shares have fallen 26 percent this year.

The retailer now has a sale on its website with some items, such as a pink dress, discounted more than 70 percent.”

Clearly analysts are concerned about the ongoing need for sales and other promotional pricing. We checked and the weekly 3-day Factory Outlet sale continues this weekend; Crew’s Fall Sale is also underway. We don’t know about the “pink dress” referenced above, but definitely noticed some deep discounting.

The Wool Dunaway Dressy on the left is $69.99, originally it sold at $158. On the right we show the Glen Plaid Peacoat, originally $278 and now just $99.99, this is *before* the additional 20% off outerwear promotion that is currently being offered.

That kind of pricing can impact the profit picture in a significant way.

The other Item of note is also related to the market, yesterday Vera Bradley became a publicly traded company, now you can own a piece of the handbag and accessories maker if so inclined.


We close on a Pretty in Pink and Green note (with apologies to our FB fans who may have already seen the picture), these are just some of the totes and lunch bags we have been getting in for the holidays!


With that we say adieu until next time, we hope each and every treasured reader enjoys a simply splendid weekend!


Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Monday Musings

Hello-Hello, and welcome to the Monday mayhem here at the Prepatorium! We are ever so harried today, we apologize for a completely disorganized post.

We begin with word on the dress worn by entertainer Carrie Underwood at her wedding last weekend to hockey star Mike Fisher. Monique Lhuillier created the Chantilly lace and silk organza gown worn by Ms. Underwood for the ceremony.

People magazine via MoniqueLhuillier.com

The singer’s reception gown was also done by the designer, who shows both dresses on her Facebook page.

People Magazine via Monique Lhuillier

As seen in the pictures, People magazine and sister publication People Style News have the story on the bridal gowns and accessories.


According to StyleList the shoes were by Stuart Weitzman, his white satin Avalon platform pump. (If it appears to have a pink tone that is because it was embellished with pink crystals.) The bride wore a feather and crystal ban.do headband.

Notwithstanding our thoughts on daytime glitter and frou-frou, the young entertainer looked beautiful, and the two make a lovely couple.


We may have previously mentioned this, the sleepwear line Norma Kamali is doing for Walmart; today’s WWD story had a few images from the collection.

The new line debuts online October 10.


We have previously shared links to Lilly Pulitzer and Vera Bradley for those wishing to perk up their desktop via free downloadable designs. Our friends at Boatman Geller are also offering some of their most popular patterns as wallpaper.

Boatman Geller

The available designs include a pattern we adore, Espadrille Preppy Stripe, delightful for your computer or your tabletop!


In today’s “We are not Worthy” category, two public ‘Thank You’ notes. The first is to the gifted and delightful Miss LPC, perhaps better known by her blog, Privilege.  This always stylish writer was much-too-kind when composing a recent post, we can only offer a public expression of gratitude in return. When we grow up we hope to have a smidgen of LPC’s talent and skill.

Our other thank you is for the ever-so-proper (and loads of fun) Miss Janice; specifically for sharing pictures of a recent soirée she hosted.

Courtesy Miss Janice

Some of Miss Janice’s Lilly Pulitzer tableware came via a blog contest we sponsored with Muffy Martini, the prize was a complete set of the Loco Patch party and tableware items. Thank you for sharing Miss Janice, we always enjoying seeing how people actually use some of our favorite Princess goodies!


Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

A New Member Named to the AntiPrep Wall of Shame


How happy are we all that it is Friday? Really a very silly sentiment, particularly when one considers the holiday-shortened week, honestly.

This is definitely a “when it rains it pours,” situation; we go weeks without any Gossip Girl news and then suddenly it seems we have almost-daily happenings! Today we share updates on two of the show’s more notable stars, seen Wednesday at the gala hosted by Valentino at Château de Wideville, the retired designer’s home.  Women’s Wear Daily covered the festivities, below we see their photo of Blake Lively with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Stephane Feugere/WWD

The party is the traditional conclusion for Paris couture week, and as one can see, the Château is an inspired location for the gathering.

Stephane Feugere/WWD

Another G2 star, Leighton Meester, is seen at the party with designer Marc Jacobs.

Stephane Feugere/WWD

We love this image of Lee Radziwill on the left; on the right we see Jane Fonda with the host.

Definitely the place to be for the fashion crowd on Wednesday night.

One other Gossipy note, the show continues shooting in Paris for the new season, below we see both Ms. Lively and Ms. Meester on the set.

Via Celebrity-Gossip.net


Our other television related item involves Mad Men‘s costume designer, Janie Bryant and her upcoming clothing collection for QVC.

The line won’t be available until the end of September, but Women’s Wear Daily (subscription req’d.) had courtesy images of several styles, including the two above.  We like the coat on the left (and actually have a very similar vintage piece) but feel lukewarm on the other items.


Next, our first look at the Keds – Gap collaboration, below we see the Womens’ styles.

Courtesy Photo via StyleList.com

The Mens’ collection features neutrals in cotton canvas.

Courtesy Photo via StyleList.com


Vera Bradley fans will be happy to learn the company is now offering backgrounds for one’s phone, iPad or desktop.


Click here to see the offerings.


We do have news of a new AntiPrep. Can you guess who or what or why?

Bruce Weber for Abercrombie via Fashionista.com

Word that Abercrombie and Fitch is bringing back its catalog prompts the addition to the AntiPrep Wall of Shame.

The company announced last week that its racy catalog, gone for the last seven years, is returning this month. Fashionista has the story, and some photos: “Exclusive: Inside the New (and Very Naked) A&F Quarterly“. The picture shown above is about the only one safe enough for today’s post.

Other news about the retailer concerns bugs, more specifically bedbugs.  Last week an infestation of the creepy critters closed both a Hollister store and an Abercrombie in the city.

Image via Racked.com

The witty minds at Racked came up with the image seen above, we couldn’t resist sharing it.  Both stores have since reopened, but NY magazine asks if the Hollister problem is really solved in this interview with an expert on the topic:

We also just learned that Abercrombie on the Seaport has bedbugs, too. What does that say about the problem?
The worst-case scenario is one of their warehouses had it. And if that’s the case, that’s frightening, you know what I mean? Because you’re not just talking about a few stores anymore. But I think it’s actually really scary that it’s more than one location. They have so many employees at Hollister and we don’t know whether any of them have it at home or not.”

Absolutely. Hideous.


We leave you something a tad more upbeat.



That is a Timex Design Your Own watch created by yours truly for today’s Pretty In Pink; click on the link to go make your own. Our thanks to the folks at High Snobette for the tip!

With that we bid adieu until next week, may everyone enjoy a splendid summer weekend!


Filed under Collaborations, Friday Fun, Gossip Girl, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, The AntiPrep

Gap Sneak Peek & More on Those Lacoste Holiday Polos

Hello-Hello… and greetings from the Prepatorium on another busy day!

Despite the fact we have yet to put away all of our summer clothing, we begin with an early look at next Spring’s fashions from the Gap.

PHOTO: Yukie Kasuga/WWD

PHOTO: Yukie Kasuga/WWD

The retailer showed next year’s styles at a show in Tokyo yesterday. As is generally the case, some things looked darling….


PHOTO: Yukie Kasuga/WWD

Others not so much….


PHOTO: Yukie Kasuga/WWD

We keep thinking a lot of Liberty-style prints have been seen on this fall’s runways.


PHOTO: Yukie Kasuga/WWD

There will be a lot to choose from, in a variety of pastels and and other pretty colors.

Courtesy Gap via Style.com

Courtesy Gap via Style.com

Just so everyone knows that TP is clear on what season we’re in, we close out this section of the post with an Adventure in Argyle from Gap’s fall line, their Women’s V-neck Sweater, available in a number of colorways.


This one is available now, both online and in stores.


We have been meaning to ask if anyone purchased pieces in the Vera Bradley Canvas collection?

Courtesy Vera Bradley

Courtesy Vera Bradley

We remember seeing a good number of advertisements for the line, but haven’t seen any in stores. An online search generated a number of eBay links so we thought we would ask readers if they knew what became of the collection?


Some readers may recall our July post talking about ‘when logos attack,’ featuring the upcoming Lacoste holiday collection; we have an update on the collaboration between the preppish retailer and Brazilian brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, who designed the polo shirts for this 4th Holiday Collector’s Series. (We wouldn’t be surprised to see work from the Campana brothers when Brazil hosts the Olympics in 2016.)

Prices will run from $165 to $7,000. The ‘special edition’ polo seen below showcases a ‘logo’ of eight crocodiles.

Courtesy Lacoste via Dezeen.com

Courtesy Lacoste via Dezeen.com

This shirt will retail for $165 and “only 20,000” have been manufactured, available November 1 at Lacoste online and the boutiques, as well as the Manhattan Barneys. The motif is based upon a chair the brothers previously designed.

Courtesy Yatzer.com

Courtesy Yatzer

Only 250 of this version have been created:

Courtesy Lacoste

Courtesy Lacoste

Contemplating this as a Christmas gift for Bitsy or Chip? You will need to tap the trust fund for $1,900 if purchasing the women’s model, or $2,900 if acquiring the men’s version.

You will also need to send your trusted assistant to the Moss store in either New York or Los Angeles to purchase one, the only place they will be available.

But do not forget the super-dooper-double-dipping-doppler-radar-version:

Courtesy Lacoste via WWD.com

Courtesy Lacoste via WWD.com

(Okay, that may have been a little over the top.) This is the ultra-limited-edition, only 24 have been created. The ‘fabric’ consists of hundreds of crocodile logos handstitched together, almost creating something akin to a Lacoste lace.

Courtesy Lacoste

Courtesy Lacoste

And as we wrote in July,

“If wondering about our Logophobia, we can only say “non, non, non, ce n’est pas un problème,” for these appear to be done with an artistic eye, yes… an outlook accompanied by a touch of whimsy.  They do not appear to take themselves too seriously. Very, very witty.”

Unfortunately they are also $5,000 or $7,000 depending upon the female or male version and clearly in the conspicuous consumption zone.


Today’s Pretty in Pink showcases the Prescriptives Pink Ribbon Palette for Cheeks and Eyes, our link is to Nordstrom, but it is available in many locations. Prescriptives will donate $20,000 to the BCRF (Breast Cancer Research Foundation).

Prescriptives will donate $20,000 to the BCRF as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.


We leave with a photo seen in today’s Times, perhaps recognizable to some readers as originally being featured on the popular Cake Wrecks blog.

cakewrecks.com/Andrews McMeel Publishing via NYTimes.com

Cake Wrecks/Andrews McMeel Publishing via NYTimes.com

The Times’ story looks at the popular blog and a new book coming out featuring 250 of the best wrecks. (That still looks like a lovely concoction compared to many of our baking endeavors!)

We’ll be back tomorrow!


Filed under Argyle, Logos, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

More Fashion Week & Please, Stop Calling It Burberry Plaid

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Wednesday!

Today we share lots of little tidbit and pictures, many of them from the doings at New York Fashion Week.  First, the Ann Taylor presentation, the first time Annie T has done a show at Fashion Week.

George Chinsee/WWD

George Chinsee/WWD

The review in Women’s Wear Daily referenced the company’s ‘new direction’:

“… the affordable, working girl’s retailer is serious about its new attitude and willing to put its money where its mouth is.”


The palette was neutral, with none of the bright colors we adore.  Many of the pieces in the presentation are available now, a huge distinction from other firms showing in New York last week.


Those items not already in stores are scheduled to drop before the holidaze holidays.  Back to the presentation, WWD wrote about the notables in attendance:

“… so a gaggle of Ann Taylor-clad celebrities were wrangled to sit front row. Jennifer Esposito, Vanessa Williams, Mena Suvari, Gretchen Mol, Kelly Rutherford, Kelly Bensimon, Laila Ali, Katherine McPhee and Amanda Bynes came prepped with pro-Ann spiels, some which actually sounded sincere…”

The WSJ’s Heard on the Runway blog has more on what is driving the changes at the company:

“…Ann Taylor made a name for itself on women’s busines suits that were popular more than a decade ago. But it failed to evolve beyond those pieces,  slipping into a staid and dowdy style.”

We’re not convinced it has all been frumpish, but there is definitely an issue with the merchandise mix in recent years. We would contend that for those needing proper apparel in the workplace the company managed to keep some basics in the stores, pieces one could build a look around. Back to the show:


George Chinsee/WWD

Additional thoughts from Heard on the Runway:

“Ann Taylor stepped up its styling game for Thursday evening to give its pieces more of a high-fashion aesthetic. The brand added feathers and pom poms to its so-called ”power sandal.” The overall presentation was at once edgy and sophisticated, prompting a collective “That’s Ann Taylor?” among audience members.”

The next pieces are a bit more formal, possibly the perfect look for upcoming parties and celebrations:


Overall the styles had a more contemporary look, we hope the company is able to rebound and capture the younger shoppers it desperately needs.


Next, some quick looks at lines we haven’t been able to showcase, like our beloved Oscar de la Renta.

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

He really is a master.


If there is a designer who better understands what flatters the female figure we don’t know who that might be.










The few items we have in our walk-in by Mr. de la Renta have worn beautifully, timeless designs we are always happy to put on again.

George Chinsee/WWD

George Chinsee/WWD

This party frock caught our eye.

George Chinsee/WWD

George Chinsee/WWD



Now here’s a sharp turn, from Oscar de la Renta to Sears and Kmart.  At Fashion Week.  Seriously.

Below, tops from the Kmart spring line for next year.

Giovanni Giannoni /WWD

Giovanni Giannoni /WWD

Below left, another Kmart style, and on the right, pieces from the Sears 2010 spring line.


The WWD review was complimentary:

“… a fine example of high-fashion trends interpreted for the mass market — everything under $40 at Sears and under $30 at Kmart. The body-conscious attitude of late showed up in slimmer silhouettes for the professional look — pencil skirts and dresses with a belted waist.”


On the retail front we have word that Vera Bradley plans to open three more stores this year, in addition to last week’s Cincinnati opening. The new shops are slated for Palm Beach, opening Nov. 13 at the Gardens, and Tysons Corner, scheduled to open Oct. 16.

Samuel Hoffman/Journal Gazette

Samuel Hoffman/Journal Gazette

The company will also open and an outlet store at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora.


One last note, this one on Burberry: it would seem we are requested to cease calling it Burberry Plaid, instead referring to it as Burberry Check.  That suggestion comes from none other the label’s Creative Director an Christopher Bailey, in a recent profile in the New Yorker.

“And he hates when Burberry’s signature print is referred to as plaid: “People keep saying to me it’s a plaid, and I’m like, ‘No, it’s a check!'”


Tomorrow we’ll have loads of looks from the Burberry Spring 2010 Collection, being shown at London Fashion Week. On that happy note, G’Bye until next time!


Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

All About the Lilly: WWD Runs Lilly Pulitzer Special Edition

TP is in heaven. Truly.

The editorial brains minds over at Women’s Wear Daily have dedicated an entire special issue of the paper to Lilly Pulitzer’s 50th.  (You may remember in today’s post on the Inaugural gowns that we mentioned WWD was doing some fabulous special issues… this is another one of those special editions.)

WWD "Lilly Pulitzer at Fifty"


For those less familiar with the Lilly Pulitzer brand, it was started in 1958 by Lilly Pulitzer….

Lilly Pulitzer at home in Palm Beach

Lilly Pulitzer at home in Palm Beach

… rapidly becoming very successful into the early 1980’s. And then – horrors!  The line ceased operating in 1984 and all hope was lost for true Lilly lovers. Life began anew in 1994 when Scott Beaumont and James Bradbeer Jr. (seen below) decided to buy the company and bring the storied line back to life.

Talaya Centeno

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

And it gets better moving forward: the company plans to grow the brand through the addition of a stationery and gift line. How fabulous is this news?!

Courtesy Lifeguard Press

Courtesy Lifeguard Press

The collection will be licensed by Lifeguard Press, the folks who handle the Vera Bradley paper line.  According to the WWD story the new paper group will include a variety of items:

“…. party goods and gifts, from wrapping paper and bags to partyware, cocktail napkins and drink umbrellas, office accessories like desk sets, diaries, notebooks, frames and calendars…”

The paper line is on track to launch in January. If you would like to be on the mailing list for updates on the line and other announcements, just click here to be taken to the Lifeguard Press site.

There is a quick mention of the sleepwear line, licensed by Carole Hochman:

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

As well as an intriguing look at the design process.  Have you ever wondered just how the company continues to come up with such smashing colors and designs? Here is an inspiration board from Lilly headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Talaya Centeno

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

Below, members of the Lilly Design Team experiment with color.

Talaya Centeno

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

TP is absolutely transfixed by the pink and green chairs even though they are almost impossible to see in the photo.  Perhaps they are easier to see in this shot of the atrium at the Lilly Mother Ship:

Talaya Centeno for WWD

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno for WWD

One of the dynamite stories in the special issue features quotes from some of fashion’s brightest talents on the brand and its founder.  Here is a sampling accompanied by fun photos of Lilly back in the 1970’s.  We start with Ralph Lauren‘s comments:

“Lilly Pulitzer created a very distinct look — her personal style of bright colors and prints has an important place in fashion.”

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

And this from Kate Spade….

“Lilly Pulitzer was one of the first to take a personal look and lifestyle and turn it into a brand. Her cheery and colorful prints are much imitated, but she is a true original.”

As well as Isaac Mizrahi

“Lilly Pulitzer is one of the few designers worthy of copying. You can’t be an American designer without a little nod to Lilly.”

Reed Krakoff (the Grand Poohbah at Coach) has memories similar to those you probably have:

“One of my earliest memories of fashion is my mom wearing a lime green printed shift dress at our country club in Weston, Connecticut. Lilly Pulitzer was a summer uniform and always defined summer style.”

Howell Conant/Timepix

Lilly's Original Shop (PHOTO: Howell Conant/Timepix)

Our favorite quote is probably this one from Jonathan Adler:

“Lilly Pulitzer makes everyone look happier, richer and more fun-loving than they probably are. Lilly equals sunshine.”

TP has never been to the Mother Ship in Pennsylvania:

Talaya Centeno

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

Nor have we visited the Lilly store at King of Prussia mall, practically in the backyard of Lilly HQ:

Talaya Centeno

PHOTO: Talaya Centeno

Remember the 50th Anniversary Lilly Pulitzer Jeep we showed previously? Well, here at the Prepatorium we  periodically queried the Princess Consort, asking if he thought anyone was ordering up the Special Edition vehicle. (Of course, he loves queries of this nature in all their profundity and thought-provoking significance.)



It turns out people *have* been buying the Limited Edition Jeep:

“About 70 of the Jeeps were preordered and, at $25,000 a pop, some of the Signature store owners will not only be driving one, but they are also able to sell them to their customers.”

Still to come? A Florida’s Natural orange juice carton done in one of the signature Pulitzer prints. An altogether remarkable story, quintessentially American with its ups and downs, and its happy ending for the company’s founder. Although she no longer owns the company, Lilly is still on hand as a consultant; her design influence and imprint can be seen everywhere.

The WWD special edition was written primarily by Julie Naughton with contributions from Dianne M Pogoda, and they did a bang-up job IOHO.


Filed under preppy

Black Friday Ads: Target, Polo Ralph Lauren & Hilfiger & J. Crew, Banana Republic Outlet Stores

Greetings of the day and all appropriate niceties, we thought it best if we just shared this information with you right away.  We have more information on a number of Black Friday sales, starting with Target’s ad, available here.

To view the complete insert that will be in local newspapers the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, click here.

Also, expect lower prices at your local Boutique Tarzshay for the foreseeable future, especially in the clothing and home store areas.  The effort to jumpstart Target’s slow sales includes going head-to-head with Walmart on some merchandise, along with using the online component to boost sales. From a recent Associated Press story:

“The company will also offer half a dozen “value items” online every day at special prices.”

“We have taken a very aggressive point of view this year in terms of our promotional pricing, so we expect to be price leaders on selected items … “

The information for the Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Stores event is also now available; they are calling the promotion ‘Midnight Madness.’

Courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren

Courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren

We will continue to monitor them for information on what to expect at the regular Ralph Lauren stores as well as what additional savings are planned at factory stores other than this initial 20% discount off purchases of $150+.

Tommy Hilfiger is offering substantial savings for Black Friday:

There are also a number of coupons for specific savings, like the one shown below, “Save an Additional 25% on any $200 Purchase,” but we have no idea if one must have an “official coupon,” or if it could be printed off any site, like ours.

The J. Crew Factory Outlet stores are also doing Black Friday:

If it is difficult to read the small print up above, early risers who shop before 10am can take an additional 50% off clearance styles, nothing to sneeze at.

Bath and Body Works is doing a VIP Bag with purchases over $100, their scan can be seen here.

They are also doing Buy 1, Get 1 at 50% off now…

…along with several “Secret Online Sales.

Other savings at specific factory outlets and stores:

  • Banana Republic Factory Stores Midnight Madness 40% off the entire store! Expires: 11/28/08
  • Eddie Bauer Factory Stores Midnight Madness Save an extra 30% off your entire purchase. Ad Code: 5700. Expires: 11/28/08

Vera Bradley will be offering free shipping on Dec.1,

We are a little surprised at Nautica’s listings, essentially $20 off a purchase of $100 or more, not nearly as aggressive as we anticipated considering their ongoing struggles in the marketplace.

For online shoppers, right now the company is offering free ground shipping on orders totaling more than $100.

On the electronics front, Best Buy has a number of discounts and markdowns that can be seen here.  The retailer will open at 5am the Friday morning after Thanksgiving.

Circuit City will also open at 5am; their ad scans are available here.

We do not yet have specifics on the Ann Taylor Loft stores, but can tell you they are now taking an Additional 40% off already reduced prices, a good deal in and of itself…

as well as offering a $25 gift card for every $50 you spend.

Keep an eye on the Tanger Outlet store site as well as the Prime Outlets site; both are decent resources for updates on special discounts and hours for the stores, although Tanger provides much more information than the Prime Outlets site offers.

When we have more on other retailers generally thought to offer a ‘preppy aesthetic’ or preppy styles, we’ll get that information to you, including the non-factory store sales and markdowns.


Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion